by Michael Strickland
Greg Heffley : [looking at class favorites] The class favorites.
[opening the section]
Greg Heffley : They're the best in their class. These people aren't nobodies. They're famous. They don't have to worry about getting a seat in the cafeteria, either. Check this out. There's tons of things I qualify for: "Most Likely to Succeed", "Best Looking", "Class Clown". They should just give that to me right now.
Rowley Jefferson : Don't you have to be funny for that?
[spotting something in the section]
Rowley Jefferson : Hey! We can try for cutest friends!
- from the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
First, some background: The writing, now children's book classics, started online on Funbrain.com. Although the author never planned to release the book on the internet, he found the opportunity to reach millions of kids irresistable, and published the book in the form of daily entries, much like a blog.
The books are about a middle-school child named Greg Heffley and his struggles in middle school. A film of the same name was released last year, starring Zaachary Gordon as Greg Heffley and Robert Capron as Rowley Jefferson. The books focus on Greg's life as he enters middle school and faces many hardships with his family.
Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, put together a free book tour experience for fans. The Wimpy Kid Rolling Blizzard will hit six stores in cities along Jeff Kinney's fall tour route in celebration of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, the sixth book in the series, according to a press release from the publisher. Click here for tour dates and locations.
Taking cues from the storyline of the new book, the unique traveling snowstorm will feature real snow made on-site at each event by the Wimpy Kid snow truck, custom-designed Wimpy Kid games, winter-weather refreshments, and more.
"We wanted to do something really special to celebrate the release of Cabin Fever, which has a winter theme. We thought it would be a lot of fun to travel down the coast with a snow-making truck and to create an instant blizzard at our big stops," author Jeff Kinney. "We're especially excited to visit places where the kids have never seen snow!"
According to Jason M. Wells, executive director of publicity and marketing for Abrams Books for Young Readers/Amulet Books, thousands of fans are expected to attend the six snow-filled events. The free tickets are limited in number, while supplies last, and distribution is handled by each store.
"Bringing the biggest book of the year-available only in print-to market needs to be done with an avalanche of clever marketing," said Michael Jacobs, president of Abrams. "Jeff Kinney and friends will celebrate the release with fans while on tour through the Southeast next month, but the release of Cabin Fever is a national moment to celebrate reading and the printed word at bookstores, schools, retailers, at home, and at libraries across the nation."
Books in the core Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney include Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2008), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw (2009), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2009), and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth (2010) and Cabin Fever (2011). Jeff Kinney has also written and illustrated The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book and The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary.
The book series won Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in 2010 and 2011, and Jeff Kinney was nominated for a Children's Choice Book Award in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Internationally, books in the series have won numerous awards voted on by students and teachers. In November 2010, the Wimpy Kid giant helium balloon debuted in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. It will appear again in the 2011 parade, on November 24. 2011. In March 2011, the first-ever Wimpy Kid Island, Wimpy Wonderland, debuted on poptropica.com.